VIDEO: What could keep Pieter-Steph in Cape Town
World Rugby Player of the Year Pieter-Steph du Toit has not yet made a call on moving abroad or staying in South Africa.
However, Stormers coach John Dobson readily admits they will “obliterate” their budget if they ever try to match the amounts a player of his stature could command on the international market.
If he does decide to remain in Cape Town, it will most likely be a ‘lifestyle’ decision.
Dobson said they have been having ongoing discussions with the 28-year-old loose forward, who only recently returned to the playing field after suffering a devastating injury early last year.
On February 28 last year, against the Blues, Du Toit suffered a double hematoma on his upper leg – which quickly developed into acute compartment syndrome that almost resulted in an amputation.
It has been a long, slow rehabilitation process, but the 55-times capped World Cup winner made his comeback in their Rainbow Cup South African conference earlier this month.
“He first wanted to get on the field and see if he could play again,” Dobson said when asked about the status of Du Toit.
“We have been speaking to him and his agent,” the coach said, adding: “He hasn’t signed anywhere else or overseas.
“We will keep chatting to him.”
Dobson said they have two scenarios in their budget – the one with Du Toit staying in Cape Town and the other is him departing abroad.
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“We must also be realistic that a World Rugby Player of the Year coming onto the market could involved amounts – whether that is € or the ¥ – that no South African franchise can afford.
“He has ever-growing business interests in the Western Cape and he doesn’t want to be too far from those.”
The options to the loose forward are to go abroad long-term, goes for a short while and comes back, or stay.
“He is really enjoying his rugby here, you can see it in the way he is playing,” Dobson said, adding that – there is no final decision on Du Toit.
“We are open-minded, as he told us he will communicate with us when he gets to the point of making a decision and his agent has also been very transparent.”
The coach said they were to try and match what Du Toit is worth on the international market it will “obliterate” their budget.
“You have heard some figures of other players earning – [like] €1-million. If you times that by 18 or 19 [the exchange rate], that it will be virtually a third of the salary cap [of ZAR60-million] on one player.
“We can’t compete with that.
“If Pieter-Steph stayed, it would be because he wants to be close to his family.
“He also has business interest and it would be a lifestyle decision.”